Our deliciously creamy Mac And Cheese is better than the regular, with an irresistible garlic parmesan cheese sauce and topped with golden, buttery parmesan fried bread crumbs!
Does homemade mac and cheese get any BETTER than this? I don’t think so. Switch up your favourite macaroni cheese recipe and make way for this glorious dish full of flavoured comfort food. I can guarantee THIS will become your new favourite.
MAC AND CHEESE
Usually with any recipe, you can decide in a split second which element you like better. Well, let me tell you right now I’m so undecided and have absolutely no idea where to start. The thick and creamy sauce? The perfect, butter fried topping with extra crispy parmesan? Or the kick of garlic?
An easy, cheesy and creamy recipe, perfect for the holidays, potlucks or bbq’s, I guarantee your mac and cheese experience will forever be changed after you try this recipe. It ticks all the boxes!
- Béchamel sauce ✔️
- Abundance of pasta ✔️
- Crispy topping
- Loaded with cheese ✔️
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE MAC AND CHEESE
This macaroni cheese recipe is so easy to make, I can break it down in five easy steps:
Boil and drain the pasta — elbow, macaroni, cellentani, or any pasta you like.
Fry a breadcrumbs/parmesan mixture — please use fresh grated parmesan if possible for the best flavour.
Make white sauce — a typical béchamel with a light change.
Add cheese — see below for more cheese options.
Top with a crispy breadcrumb mixture — the best part.
HOW DO YOU MAKE CHEESE SAUCE?
Making this recipe lower in calories for you, I didn’t want to skimp on the all important buttery flavour mac and cheese is known and loved for. So instead, I cut the butter and flour quantity in half for the white sauce.
Using a combination of cornstarch and milk to do the rest of the thickening for us, there is no sacrificing flavours in this recipe.
THE BEST CHEESE FOR MACARONI AND CHEESE
Not only is this made with the usual cheddar cheese found in most recipes; it has a GOOD kick of stringy mozzarella AND loaded with parmesan because, well, parmesan.
If you’re not a fan of those, you could also use:
OPTIONAL ADD INS FOR MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE
Bacon: Bacon is always an option.
Chicken: Seared or baked chicken (like our Tuscan Chicken Macaroni Cheese)
Jalapeños: Fresh or pickled jalapeños (like this Chili Mac Recipe)
Herbs: For even more flavour, try adding in Oregano, Basil, Thyme or Parsley — dried or fresh, to the béchamel sauce.
MAC AND CHEESE AS A SIDE OR MAIN
Both, actually. Think of mains like:
Or enjoy it as a main. You choose!
The ultimate Mac and Cheese Recipe with an incredible full-flavoured cheese sauce and topped with an irresistible crispy, golden, buttery topping.
Mac And Cheese ON VIDEO!
Need more sides? Try these!
Love to stick to the classics? Try these!
Garlic Parmesan Mac And Cheese
- 1 pound (500 grams) dry weight pasta, (elbow, macaroni, cellentani, or any other pasta)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 2/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup flour, all purpose or plain
- 4 1/2 cups milk, divided (I used skim, but 2% or full fat are fine to use)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch, or corn flour
- salt and pepper, to season
- 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder, or a vegetable stock powder
- 3/4 cup low fat grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 6 ounces low fat mozzarella cheese, sliced
- Boil pasta in salted water, according to packet instructions, until JUST al dente (do not over-boil)! Drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.
- Preheat oven grill or broiler to 190°C | 375°F.
FOR CRISPY TOPPING:
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large, oven proof pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the Panko breadcrumbs; stir to coat and cook until golden browned. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
FOR THE SAUCE:
- Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in the same pan / skillet. Add the garlic and sauté until just fragrant (about 1 minute). Whisk in the flour; continue to cook while whisking (or stirring) for at least 2 minutes. Reduce heat down to low; gradually whisk in 4 cups of the milk (about 1/4 cup at a time), whisking between each addition to combine. Bring to a boil until beginning to thicken.
- In a separate jug, combine the cornstarch and remaining 1/2 cup milk; whisk until lump free and stir through the white sauce to thicken completely. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the bouillon powder.
- Remove from heat and add in the cheddar, 3/4 cup of parmesan cheese, and the mozzarella slices. Stir through until all of the cheese has melted. Toss the pasta through the sauce until completely coated.
- Top with the Panko and the remaining parmesan cheese. Broil (or grill) in oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until bubbling.
- Allow to cool down slightly before serving.